Rev. Jasper W. Williams, Sr.
The first generation of the Williams Legacy was born in Rankin County, Mississippi in a rural area known as Taoc. The family consisted of four children, two boys (Jasper Williams, Sr. and Alton Roosevelt Williams) and two girls. They all loved and adored their mother, Hattie. Though her husband was deceased, she often spoke of his love for them, which was the thread that united them all. Hattie continued with her husband's tradition of training their children in moral and social correctness by teaching them the "Word of God."
Rev. Jasper Williams, Sr. began preaching at the age of 21, while his brother, Rev. Alton Roosevelt Williams began preaching at the age of 25. Both brothers started their pastoral ministries in the hills of Mississippi, but eventually moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where they became pastors of separate churches. Neither brother worked outside the church. Their greatest passion was to bring lost souls to a saving knowledge of the love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The brothers worked as a team, running revivals for each other. Rev. Jasper, Sr. would preach and his brother, Rev. A.R. would work the floor, offering the plan of salvation to lost souls. Some summers, they held revivals for six consecutive weeks at their respective churches. They were powerful preachers, known throughout the country as the "two long-headed preaching Williams brothers."
Rev. Jasper, Williams, Sr. was founder and builder of Lane Avenue Baptist Church in Memphis, where the street bares his name (974 J. W. Williams Lane). He ministered to people for over 35 years as a radio voice on WDIA in Memphis. Rev. A.R. Williams, pastor of Greater White Stone Baptist Church in Memphis, later founded and organized a mission church in Monrovia, Africa. He longed for the church in the homeland to catch the vision.
Both brothers ended their life-long commitment and went to be with Christ on the same day, however, different years. Rev. A.R. Williams died January 12, 1972 and Rev. Jasper Williams, Sr. died on January 12, 1981.